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His son's picture became an iconic image from 2015 for the worst reason. Now he speaks.

When his son drowned, the whole world took notice. His message is so important.

His son's picture became an iconic image from 2015 for the worst reason. Now he speaks.

You may not know him, but you've certainly heard of his son.

His name is Abdullah Kurdi, but you probably know him best as the father of Alan (originally reported as Aylan), the drowned 3-year-old refugee boy whose picture captured the attention of people around the world.

Alan, along with his mother and his older brother, drowned attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Turkey into Greece. Their goal, like so many other refugee families, was to escape war-torn Syria and find safety in Europe.


Photo by Yaskin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images.

Alan's father Abdullah doesn't want other families to go through what his did. He needs our help to make that happen.

We, as human beings and citizens of the world, need to empathize with the struggle facing the refugees fleeing Syria. Are they really any less worthy of safety and dignity than the rest of us?

That's what Abdullah asks in a video that aired recently on Channel 4 in the U.K.

GIFs via Channel 4 News.

There's no better time than the holidays to take a moment to think about love, family, and peace.

Abdullah, who has lost all of those close to him in his life, isn't asking for money or for goods. He's asking for humanity, love, and kindness. He's asking us to be grateful for what we have in life and to open our hearts to refugees.

The sad fact remains that the U.S. remains leery about accepting any Syrian refugees. 54% of Americans oppose taking in any refugees from Syria. Why? Because despite the fact that refugees are fleeing terrorists, there's worry that the refugees could be terrorists. Since the Paris and San Bernardino attacks — in which none of the perpetrators were Syrian refugees — this has become an especially hot topic of discussion.

His goal is simple: peace on earth. Getting there? A bit more of a challenge.

And maybe it starts with a tiny step. Maybe the path to world peace starts with acknowledging that we need to treat each other as people first rather than coming into situations with preconceived notions about who someone is on the basis of their religion or nationality.

Stereotypes hurt us all. Holding on to stereotypes prevents peace.

Watch Abdullah Kurdi's emotional holiday message below:

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Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

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Veteran Chicago radio personality "Ramblin' Ray" Stevens was driving in his car two weeks ago when he passed Braxton Mayes, 20, several times.

"I was on my way home from work Friday and saw a young man walking down Kirk Road," Stevens later recalled. "I dropped my friend off at the studio I work out of and headed home. This young man was still walking. So I drove around the block and asked him if he needed a ride."

"In our town, we help people out," Stevens said.

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